Powering On

It's amazing how an idea that I mulled over in my head for about a year (and swapped and changed, and tried to meld with other things, and put in any number of combinations) is finally coming together. Today I started work on my first draft of Part III -- the final part -- of the novel I'm working on. Actually, I don't think "working on" adequately conveys how much pain and effort is going into this. The novel I'm labouring over. Sweating out. Exorcising. Well, I'm starting to see an end in sight. This weekend I spent 90% of my time (the time that wasn't spent food shopping and watching Stepsisters ... again) editing Part II to bring it to second draft. And because I've read some great books

Book Review: 'Thirteen Reasons Why' by Jay Asher

I absolutely love the TV series 13 Reasons Why. If it hadn't been for that, I probably would have passed this book over, but after watching the series on Netflix (twice) I found that the paperback was in Tesco, so I added it to The Couple Next Door to give me something to read over the weekend (I ended up being too busy to read, and so it's been a fortnight since I picked this up). I am going to compare it to the series, because that's why I bought it. I wanted to read it because I wanted to see if the book -- often so much more intimate -- could enthral me the same way as thirteen brilliant episodes did. I wanted to see the differences in characterisation, in narrative, in apportioning blam

Seeking Independently Published Books to Review

It's kind of embarrassing (but I still defend it!) that my local bookshop is Tesco. It's open til late, it's where I get my snacks, and it has the 2 for £7 deal that even Amazon would struggle to beat. But, the thing is, buying books from Tesco means that I'm only buying bestsellers: those books that supermarkets know will sell well because they've won awards and are talked about on daytime chat shows. For 2018, I want to support those small publishers that don't get the same exposure, those authors that don't have celebrity endorsements. My website doesn't have a massive readership, but for every review I put on here I post a condensed version on Amazon - and any review is great for getting

Book Review: 'The Couple Next Door' by Shari Lapena

The baby's been grouchy all day, and the woman next door doesn't like kids. Anne doesn't really want to go to the dinner party, but her husband insists. They could do with some time out of the house. And they'll have the baby monitor, as well as nipping next door every half hour to check on her. It'll be fine. What if our baby is already dead? ... What if we never find her? The Couple Next Door is one of those mystery who-dunnit thrillers that slowly transform me into Columbo. Instead of making notes on the quality of the writing, I was scribbling notes in my little police-officer-style (Oxford) notebook as if I'd been transported to the crime scene. Does the fact that mother Anne refers to

Thrilling a Reader

This week Stirling Publishing announced that they would be opening for submissions, but only for one specific genre. We're looking for spine-tingling psychological thrillers to keep us up at night: up til midnight reading, and then maybe another hour or so checking all the dark nooks and crannies of the house. For submission guidelines, please head over to the website for the nitty gritty of how many chapters and how to layout your document. But since I'm the gatekeeper, in a sense, of those queries, I thought I'd share my three favourite thrillers for inspiration : Kiss the Girls by James Patterson The Good Girl by Mary Kubica The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris Two out of three are t

Book Review: 'After The Hole' by Guy Burt

After the Hole is a short novel, one you could read in a couple of hours, and then spend another mulling it over. It's a simple story, really: five sixth formers are locked underground to escape a Welsh hiking trip and to take part in their friend Martyn's social experiment to get to know each other better. Only when the three days are up, no one comes back to get them out. If you haven't seen the theatrical adaptation of After The Hole, well, shame on you. Once a staple of Channel 4's subsidiary channels, The Hole has fallen out of favour - possibly because it's now 17 years old. If you haven't seen it, I'd highly recommend reading the book before watching the film. Having seen the film (nu

Complete: Part II, Draft 1

I found that you can look up how long you have actually spent on a document. Don't, because it might break you. But, if you're that masochistic, simply right-click the document in the folder, go to Properties at then bottom, and go to Details. The second subheading is called Origin, and that's where I found all this info that I didn't even know I could access. Part II, which I work on in a different file to Part I both for ease of referencing and so that the manuscript seems less insurmountable, was created 31st July 2017 (really?) and I've spent more than 140 hours on it. That's comparable to an entire week of no breaks or sleeping to create a 66-page document of 35,000 words. It's also mad

© 2019 Laura Maria Grierson

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